Superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools: Executive Director of special ed will stay

Feb 28, 2018

Grand Rapids Public Schools will not remove its head of special education, despite possible legal action.

Six local unions and some parents and faculty claim Laura LaMore has done a poor job running the district’s special ed program.

They complain of poor placement of students and not enough staff. The petition even says, “Staff  fear bullying. So many great, experienced professionals have been pushed out or left because of poor working conditions, excessive caseloads and intimidation.”

The Michigan Education Association sent the Grand Rapids Board of Education a letter demanding LaMore be fired by the end of February.

Teresa Weatherall Neal, Superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools, is very clear that she has no intention of firing LaMore.

“And I will not be a party to this effort to ruin the reputation of a competent educator who is doing the right thing for our students,” Weatherall Neal said.

Weatherall Neal says many of the complaints have been handled or are in the process of being handled. She also says most faculty and staff support recent changes. 

“They believe in what we’re doing, they believe in the transformation plan. They know that we have to do this for children,” she said.

There are nearly 4,000 special ed students in GRPS. About 1,200 of them come from other communities in the Kent Intermediate School District.